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This was part of my ongoing breastfeeding project which invites women to be photographed feeding their babies/children. It helps support the breastfeeding community by normalising it as well as pointing out the outdated and misogynistic societal flaws associated with it.

I focus on skin-to-skin contact, have it outdoors to enhance the element of nature in the image, and have it as a striking pose with my subject looking into the camera.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

I asked my model to stand side on to me, pop her foot (I will have been doing this mirrored to her so that she could see), firstly to look at baby and then to look up straight at me.

What did you say?

Look down, make sure that you are comfortable and then on 3 look up at me… 1,2,3…’

How did you compose your image?

I wanted to ensure that I could capture a beautiful nude side profile of her body whilst feeding and also have baby in a similar position to reflect her as the mother, in her baby whilst also showing a protective element and contrast in their sizes. I also wanted a degree of negative space surrounding them to give a feel of the quiet, calm and natural surroundings.

How and what did you focus on?

This was shot at f/1.8 and was relatively easy as my model were still. I wanted the background as out of focus as possibly to really make them stand out, hence the wide aperture.

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How did you use the light in your image?

It was very soft and made softer by my diffusion filter, so the only problem was making sure that the image wasn’t too hazy. I wasn’t overly concerned by this however because this is easily corrected in Lightroom.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Camera

Canon 5D Mark III

Lens

Sigma Art 135mm f/1.8

Filter

Cinebloom 20%

Other

None

Shutter Speed

1/4000

Aperture

f/1.8

ISO

100

White Balance

Auto

How did you edit your image & what did you use?

Firstly, I straightened it (I can never shoot straight!) so the the horizon was correct, then I applied the preset. I increased the highlights, lowered the shadows, and increased the dehaze slider.

I then took it into Photoshop and selected the sky and, using a mask, added a gradient blur to the sky to eliminate the texture/clouds. I then added a dark gradient from the top down.

Back in Lightroom, I added Meridian x Twyla Jones, Celestial stars and a moon, making sure that the moon was located where the light source/sun was.

Finally, I added some heavy grain.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom CC, Adobe Photoshop

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What challenges did you face?

Ensuring that the moon looked real, that my model was comfortable and that the shoot was private.

How did you solve them?

1) Making sure that the faux elements were not the main focus of the image and that the lighting remained correct.

2) Going at her pace for the images and nudity. Checking that she was comfortable at all times and before the shoots ensuring that her expectations were managed and that she was aware that it would be a nude/suggestive nude shoot.

3)Scounting the location beforehand, going at a low traffic time and off of the path.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

Have an idea of the final image in your head before shooting it.

Laura Parkin

Shooting since

2012

Current Home

Devon, UK

Website

Instagram

Photography is a truly beautiful art form, and I strive to capture not just moments, but the emotions and connections between my subjects in those moments and to treat every shoot as a blank canvas to bring to life with it’s own story. My focus is to capture love- every kind of love, between mothers and babies, couples, siblings, friends… Love is the centrepiece to all of my stories that unfold.

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